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Club supports Special Olympic athletes

first_imgThe motto of Special Olympics Notre Dame reads, “Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt,” a phrase club vice president and senior Andrew Hosbein said describes the club’s mission well.“You hear the Vince Lombardi quote, ‘Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing,’ and from that you take sports to be ultra-competitive, which they are – who doesn’t want to win?” Hosbein said. “Yet, at the same time, one must be comfortable that they tried their best, and that’s what we try encourage through the club at Notre Dame.”Special Olympics Notre Dame, founded in 2010, connects students with members of the South Bend community with intellectual disabilities.Club co-president and senior Molly Reidy said relationships between students and Special Olympic athletes develop through participation in sports. Pick-up basketball, swimming and ice-skating are some of the largest events the club plans throughout the year, she said.“One of the biggest things I think is important to know about our club is that we’re not an event on campus, but we’re a club that plans events year around,” Reidy said.The club also plans a Special Olympics soccer program, Unified Soccer, each spring, Reidy said.Hosbein said Unified Soccer provides students and athletes with an opportunity to play on a team together.“What I think is really unique about Unified is the participation on the part of the Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s students,” Reidy said. “They are able to get involved rather than just standing on the sideline and giving pointers. And I think that’s really valuable not only for the students, but also the athletes. They feel like they’re a part of an actual team and aren’t just being instructed on how to get better. While that’s certainly a goal, the camaraderie that the students and athletes develop is special.”Unified Soccer didn’t have any local teams like it to play against when it began, but club co-president and senior Laura Gardner said the popularity of the program has since grown to include away games in Michigan. The involvement between club members and athletes provides students with a sense of pride as they see athletes improve and develop, Gardner said.“Volunteers learn to be adaptable to the kids, and in the end, after a whole season of soccer practices, it’s amazing to see children that you work with actually develop day by day in terms of skills and maturity,” Gardner said. “We had our first Unified Soccer practice today, and one of the kids from last year was directing a new kid this year and saying, ‘This is what I learned last year; this is how you should incorporate it.’ … So that was really cool.”The connection between the city of South Bend and Special Olympics Notre Dame benefits those with disabilities and their families while also popping the “Notre Dame bubble,” Reidy said.“I think the fact that we are not only bridging the gap between the Notre Dame community and the South Bend community, but also bridging the gap between those with and without disabilities – I think it goes hand-in-hand really well,” Reidy said. “We’re not only being exposed to these athletes and what they’re capable of, but we’re being exposed to their families and the ways the athletes and their families find joy. And they find opportunity through our club through the events that we hold, which I think is really rewarding.”This spring, Special Olympics Notre Dame will also participate in ‘Spread the Word to End the Word,’ a national campaign to end the casual use of the word “retarded,” Reidy said.“It’s important to take time away from school, which can become all-consuming with work, friends and social life, finding a job – and return the favor,” Hosbein said. “It’s grounding and has engendered a sense of humility, and to me, there’s nothing better than seeing how excited an athlete gets after hitting a three or scoring a goal.“At the core, sports are about competition, but Special Olympics has shown me that making others happy by playing and teaching them skills can be just as satisfying as winning.”Tags: disability, South Bend, Special Olympics, Special Olympics Notre Dame, Unified Soccerlast_img read more

Saint Mary’s panel confronts LGBTQ youth bullying

first_imgAs part of its Campus Conversations initiative, which aims to raise awareness about underrepresented societal issues, Student Diversity Board (SDB) held a discussion panel about LGBTQ youth bullying at Saint Mary’s on Wednesday.Senior Angela Bukur, SDB vice president, said having open discussions about this topic can help the Saint Mary’s community take a stand against bullying.“I hope this event brings to light the harming effects bullying has on LGBTQ youth,” Bukur said. “I hope students take away more of an awareness about LGBTQ bullying. I want students and faculty to be in support of LGBTQ students and actively make changes to show their support.”Bukur said SDB and the Sociology Club decided to coordinate this session of Campus Conversations to inform students and create a safe environment for them to express their thoughts.“LGBTQ youth bullying is especially an important topic because of the lack of knowledge and awareness some people have about this issue,” she said. “The statistics are staggering, showing that 56.7 percent of LGBTQ students did not report experiences of bullying because they doubted an investigation [would be held]. This shows that there is a lack of support for the LGBTQ community in school systems where bullying is taking place.”Bettina Spencer, chair of the psychology department, said students should make efforts to end youth bullying because its effects can harm victims for the rest of their lives.“These early experiences can really shape how people approach the world and how they respond to people around them,” Spencer said. “It becomes a really additive cycle.”According to Spencer, past encounters with bullies may cause stigma consciousness, the expectation that prejudice will continue to occur, as well as other social constraints and perceived barriers that prevent people from confiding in others. The lasting outcomes of bullying can make it difficult for victims to process traumatic experiences, she said.Spencer said events such as Campus Conversations help encourage students to support one another.“It starts to build a community where we can have more open dialogues,” Spencer said. “Having events like this is kind of the first step and also one of the best steps we can do in supporting LGBTQ people, peers, allies and people who have been bullied in general. I think this a great way to start really talking and having good, thorough discussions with each other and generate ideas and hear people’s stories.”Junior Maranda Pennington said she works to make Saint Mary’s a welcoming and inclusive environment through her involvement with the Straight and Gay Alliance and with justice education.“A lot of times I feel like people are uncomfortable talking about anything LGBTQ related,” Pennington said. “It is hard to feel validated when your identity isn’t even recognized.”Pennington said even making simple changes, such as using more inclusive language, can unite the Saint Mary’s community.“I want Saint Mary’s to truly be a place where we embrace and empower women, regardless of any aspect of our identity,” Pennington said. “I think this can only be done through education, empathy and honest dialogue.”Tags: Campus conversations initiative, LGBTQ, LGBTQ youth bullying, SMC, smc campus conversations, Student Diversity Boardlast_img read more

Anna Chlumsky & Richard Thomas Step Into You Can’t Take It With You

first_img Related Shows Chlumsky received Emmy nominations in 2013 and 2014 for her performance as Amy in the HBO series Veep. Her additional screen credits include Hannibal, My Girl and In the Loop. She has appeared off-Broadway in Love, Loss and What I Wore and Unconditional. An Emmy winner for The Waltons, Thomas returns to Broadway after numerous credits including An Enemy of the People, Race, A Naked Girl on the Appian Way and Democracy. Directed by Scott Ellis, the Pulitzer Prize-winning You Can’t Take It With You centers on the freethinking Sycamore family and the mayhem that ensues when their daughter’s fiancé brings his conservative, straight-laced parents to dinner on the wrong night. Chlumsky and Thomas will join a cast that includes James Earl Jones, Elizabeth Ashley, Annaleigh Ashford, Kristine Nielsen and Byron Jennings. The play will run on extension through February 22. Look who’s coming for dinner! Veep star Anna Chlumsky and Emmy winner Richard Thomas begin performances in the Broadway revival of George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart’s You Can’t Take It With You on January 6. Chlumsky will take over as Alice, replacing Rose Byrne, and Thomas will step in as Paul, previously played by Mark Linn-Baker. The production is running at the Longacre Theatre. Show Closed This production ended its run on Feb. 22, 2015 View Comments You Can’t Take It With Youlast_img read more

Interpreting flock talk

first_imgAnd that could be valuable information. Economically, chickens rule the roost in Georgia, where poultry is the top agricultural product with an estimated annual impact of nearly $20 billion statewide. There is industry concern about the welfare of the animals they raise; anything that helps growers reap a maximum return on every flock – while maintaining an environment conducive to their well-being – can translate to important dividends for the state’s economy. “Many poultry professionals swear they can walk into a grow-out house and tell whether a flock is happy or stressed just by listening to the birds vocalize,” said Wayne Daley, a Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) principal research scientist who is leading the research. “The trouble is, it has proved hard for these pros to pinpoint for us exactly what it is that they’re hearing.” Nevertheless, scientists are convinced that poultry farmers are detecting something real. Recent research at the University of Connecticut’s Department of Animal Science indicates that it is indeed possible to differentiate how the birds react to various conditions based on their vocalizations. “The behavior of chickens is one of the best and most immediate indicators of their well-being,” said Bruce Webster, a University of Georgia poultry science professor who is working on the project. “Chickens are vocal creatures and produce different types of vocalizations at different rates and loudness depending on their circumstances.”So the Georgia Tech/University of Georgia team is working to identify and extract specific vocalization features that will bear out both the anecdotal observations and the previous scientific work. The researchers are performing stress-related experiments on small flocks, recording the birds’ reactions on audio and video and analyzing the results. GTRI is providing expertise in control-systems development and image processing, while Georgia Tech’s School of Electrical and Computer Engineering is contributing audio signal-processing technology and the University of Georgia is providing research facilities as well as guidance in experimental design as they relate to animal behavior and welfare issues. “If what experienced farmers hear and sense can be defined and quantified, sensors to detect cues from the birds themselves could really make a difference in providing real-time information on house environment, bird health, and comfort,” said Michael Lacy, head of the Department of Poultry Science at the University of Georgia. The work is funded by the Agricultural Technology Research Program, a state-supported effort to benefit the poultry and food-processing industries. Naturally, said Daley, the poultry industry already has well-established guidelines covering optimal temperature, air quality and stocking density. Nevertheless, costly problems can still crop up – control systems can malfunction, or presumably ideal levels can turn out to be problematic. “That’s where being able to judge the flock’s behavior can be so important,” Daley said. “Your temperature sensors might say that things are fine, but the birds could be telling you that they think it’s a bit too warm or other changes have occurred to make the conditions less than ideal.” From a poultry professional’s viewpoint, the flock’s opinion is probably the definitive one. Chickens take only six weeks to go from hatching to finished weight; stressful conditions can retard their growth, reducing their value when they go to market. “Contract poultry producers are paid by the pound of birds sent to market. Improving the overall health and productivity of the birds will help to improve the bottom line for individual producers,” said Casey Ritz, a University of Georgia associate professor of poultry science who is involved in the research. The research team has conducted several experiments in which they have exposed flocks to mildly stressful environmental changes. For example, temperature or ammonia levels might be increased from their initial settings for a few hours, then returned to the original level. The researchers have recorded the flocks’ vocal reactions to the experiments, with video also collected in many instances. To date, more than four terabytes of bird-vocalization audio has been gathered. Almost at once, the researchers encountered a knotty problem as they recorded bird sounds. They discovered that the large fans necessary for air circulation in a grow-out house can be considerably louder than the chickens, making it difficult to capture bird vocalizations effectively. David Anderson, a professor in the Georgia Tech School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, has been working on the best methods for harvesting useable bird sounds from the noisy environment. It’s a classic audio signal-processing problem, he said, in which the signal of interest must separated from the noise that surrounds it. “We have several approaches for extracting poultry voicing from the others noises, and we’ve been pretty successful in achieving that,” he said. “What makes this different from most other bird-song research is that we’re not listening to individuals, we’re listening to sounds in the aggregate. It’s like trying to understand what people are saying in a restaurant, when all you hear are the murmurings of a hundred diners.” To decode mass poultry vocalizing, Anderson is extracting particular features of the sound, such as speed, volume, pitch and other qualities. Then he’s utilizing machine learning – in which computers recognize complex patterns in data and make decisions based on those patterns – to analyze the extracted features and determine which characteristics may convey specific meanings. “These are initial experiments, and we’re going to have to test under a variety of conditions, but we’ve had considerable success already,” Anderson said. “By listening to the flock we can accurately tell when the birds are experiencing particular kinds of stress, such as significant temperature changes.” In addition to ensuring high yield flocks, bird-vocalization analysis could save poultry growers money in equipment costs as well, Anderson suggested. For instance, he said, currently available ammonia sensors are both expensive and short-lived. If a system consisting of a few microphones and the right computer algorithms could take over ammonia-detection tasks, it would help reduce costs for the entire industry. To date, video of the flocks hasn’t produced results as useful as the sound recordings, said GTRI’s Daley. But image processing of flock-reaction video continues, and could yield significant data down the road. “This multi-disciplinary, multi-institution project highlights the different skills necessary to tackle current problems,” Daley said. “This approach will be valuable in years to come as we tackle a variety of problems to help the industry continue to be profitable and sustainable.” Chickens can’t speak, but they can definitely make themselves heard. Most people who have visited a poultry farm will recall chicken vocalization – the technical term for clucking and squawking – as a memorable part of the experience. Researchers now believe that such avian expressiveness may be more than idle chatter. A collaborative project being conducted by the Georgia Institute of Technology and the University of Georgia is investigating whether the birds’ volubility can provide clues to how healthy and comfortable they are. last_img read more

Dove Season Prep

first_imgOpening day of dove season is a little over two months away, so it’s time to start planning for and planting dove fields.A prudently planned dove field can provide family entertainment and economic benefits through most of the dove season, which starts Sept. 2. Field owners can often charge $25 to $75 per hunter each day for use of the field, depending on the field’s size and what is planted in it. On the other hand, hunters should be cautious of so-called “dove fields” that are filled with pigweed and sicklepod. Field owners can make additional income by harvesting the field after the hunt for silage or hay.Dove fields should be at least 5 acres in size. Unlike most other wildlife management practices, it is essential to minimize the edges within a dove field, so rectangular fields are better than irregularly shaped fields. Doves are visual creatures and require large, open areas to see oncoming predators. Rectangular fields offer the greatest amount of visibility.The field owner must also consider the field’s longevity, or the length of time it’s to be used during dove season. Crop variation, both in species planted and planting dates, provides the greatest opportunity to extend the use of a field over the full dove season. Larger fields afford greater opportunities for planting variation, but, with a little creativity and field manipulation, even the smallest fields can offer season-long dove hunting.Often plants like corn, sorghum, milo, millet, sunflowers and sesame are planted for dove fields. It is very important that the plant matures at the right time to maximize doves’ presence in the field. Therefore, it is essential to pay attention to the maturity date of the plant being cultivated. If the plant takes 60 days to mature, or produce a seed head, then it needs to be planted at least 70 days before it is to be used during the dove season. Planting a variety of plants, or the same plant at different times, extends the usefulness of a field and provides diversity for the doves’ diet. Planting a combination of different plants also provides some insurance against crop failure. After the crop has reached maturity, it is essential to get seeds on the ground. Doves require seed-to-soil contact in order to forage. The field owner should mow the field, with the mower set as close to the ground as possible, 10 to 14 days prior to hunting. This allows enough time for birds to find the seed and begin to use the field. Mowing in strips or a checkerboard pattern puts some seed on the ground and leaves the rest of the seed for a later date.Dove field management is perhaps one of the easiest wildlife management strategies that can be put in place with basic farm equipment. Doves are migratory birds, so it is not likely that a bevy of them will stay in one place very long. However, doves do tend to return to the same area each season, with larger concentrations inhabiting the most attractive places. Local attention to the basic needs of these migratory birds will greatly increase the chances of successful dove hunting opportunities and can potentially provide revenue for the owners of properly managed fields.In Georgia, the 2017-2018 mourning dove season runs from Sept. 2 to Sept. 17, 2017; Oct. 14 to Nov. 2, 2017; and Nov. 23, 2017, to Jan. 15, 2018.last_img read more

General Dynamics of Burlington, VT Aerospace get piece of $94.6 million Army contract

first_imgSenator Patrick Leahy reports that General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products, which maintains an engineering division in Burlington, has been awarded a $94.6 million order from the US Army to continue production of reactive armor for 440 Bradley Fighting Vehicles.General Dynamics’ reactive armor system uses special tiles that fasten to the exterior of the Bradley Fighting Vehicles, allowing them to better withstand direct hits from a variety of anti-armor munitions.As a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and of its Defense Subcommittee, Leahy was instrumental early on in promoting the concept of Bradley reactive armor tiles. He sought funding for the project each year in five successive defense budget bills, securing more than $93 million for the project from 2003 to 2006. The Army offered the current contract for competitive bids, and the contract was won by General Dynamics.A substantial proportion of the work will be completed in Vermont, totaling about $27 million. Leahy said the work will sustain 10 General Dynamics program management and engineering jobs in Burlington. He said additional work under the contract will sustain about 60 production jobs at Vermont Aerospace Manufacturing of Lyndonville, which manufactures the outer shell of each tile. Earlier this month the Lyndonville firm announced it had become 100 percent employee owned with the assistance of the Vermont Employee Ownership Center, an organization Leahy has helped with federal grants that are used to provide technical assistance to Vermont firms.‘This armor program directly supports our troops and their missions,’ said Leahy. ‘In securing these early investments, I believed that the armor program would prove its value, and it has. The Bradley reactive armor program has become a mainstay in the President’s budget requests to Congress. General Dynamics has put these contracts to good use for our troops and for Vermont’s economy, creating and keeping good jobs in Burlington and the Northeast Kingdom.’Source: Leahy. 11.23.2010last_img read more

Goddard College names new slate of trustees

first_imgGoddard College,The Goddard College Board of Trustees today announced the election of seven new members: Marty Baumrind of Brooklyn, NY; Wayne Fawbush of New York, New York and Montpelier, VT; David Hales of Bar Harbor, ME; Liam Murphy of Burlington, VT; Avram Patt of Marshfield, VT; Hillary Web of Eliot, ME and Laurie Zivetz of Chevy Chase, MD.  ‘The breadth of knowledge and experience that these individuals bring to Goddard College are tremendous gifts,’ said Goddard President Dr. Barbara Vacarr. ‘Their guidance and stewardship of Goddard will help usher the college into the future as it reclaims its prominence as the leader in experimental and radical education.’ Marty Baumrind is a New York-based real estate developer and partner at Baumrind & Baumrind, a real estate investment firm engaged in the acquisition, renovation and management of residential and commercial properties in the New York City area. He is Chairman of the Ohr Haganuz Foundation and Trustee of the Brooklyn Community Foundation, and is a former Trustee of the Brooklyn Historical Society and the Brooklyn Museum of Art. He holds a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from Richmond College. Wayne Fawbush is a Program Officer with the Ford Foundation, where he focuses on sustainable development in rural America. He is the former Executive Director of the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund. During his tenure, he grew the fund into an innovative economic development entity focused on helping communities and businesses in rural Vermont improve their economic base and sell forest and agriculture products in profitable markets. He was deputy for program operations for the Farmers Home Administration at the Department of Agriculture during the Clinton administration. Fawbush served for 16 years as a representative and then senator in the Oregon Legislature, concentrating on economic development in rural areas. David Hales is the President of College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, Maine, a position he has held since 2006. Hales previously was President of DFH Global, a sustainable development and environmental consulting firm. He directed environmental policy and sustainability programs at the United States Agency for International Development under the Clinton administration and served under President Jimmy Carter as Deputy Assistant Secretary at the U.S. Department of the Interior. He was the first American to serve as the President of the World Heritage Convention in 1978 and served on the President’s Global 2000 Task Force. He holds a master’s degree in political science from the University of Oklahoma. Liam Murphy is a partner at Murphy Sullivan Kronk, a Vermont-based law firm. Murphy graduated from Georgetown Law in 1981. He has worked as Director of Legislative Affairs for Food Safety and Quality Service with the Department of Agriculture. Murphy also helped establish the Champlain Valley Greenbelt Alliance, a conservation group dedicated to preserving working and scenic landscapes along Vermont’s major highways. He has served as a board member at the Champlain Valley Land Trust and provided volunteer legal services to a variety of land trusts, conservation and education organizations. Avram Patt, a Goddard College alumnus, is the General Manager and CEO of the Washington Electric Cooperative (WEC), a consumer-owned utility serving over 10,000 customers. Patt is responsible for the management of WEC’s energy portfolio including the conversion to renewable energy sources and all lobbying efforts. He has served as president of the Northeast Association of Electric Cooperatives and in 2006 won Renewable Energy Vermont’s Industry Champion Award. Patt graduated from Goddard with a bachelor’s degree in 1972. Hillary Webb is the Director of Research at the Monroe Institute (TMI), where she acts as a liaison between TMI and the University of Virginia’s Department of Perceptual Studies, aids in the development of new technologies for institute use and provides financial and informational support for researchers interested in studying altered states of consciousness. Webb is also the Managing Editor for Anthropology of Consciousness, a peer reviewed journal for the Society for the Anthropology of Consciousness, a division of the American Anthropological Association. She has three books to her credit. Her newest book, “Traveling Between the Worlds: Conversations with Contemporary Shamans,” presents her conservations with twenty-four of the most influential teachers and writers of shamanism today. Dr. Webb received a bachelor’s degree in print journalism from New York University, a master’s degree in consciousness studies from Goddard and a Ph.D. in Humanistic and Transpersonal Psychology from Saybrook University in San Francisco. She lives in Eliot, Maine. Laurie Zivetz is an international development consultant who has worked all over the world. Her clients have included CAMFED International, USAID, the American Red Cross and the International Labor Organization. As Global Health Director for the Internews Network, she provided direction to a multi-country, long-term training program for journalists to improve the accuracy and frequency of health reporting. Dr. Zivetz holds a master’s degree in public health from UCLA and a Ph.D. in social economics from Union Graduate School. About Goddard College: Originally formed as the Green Mountain Central Institute in 1863, and becoming the Goddard Seminary in 1870, Goddard College was chartered in 1938 at its Plainfield, Vermont campus by founding President Royce ‘Tim’ Pitkin. Its mission is to advance the theory and practice of learning by undertaking new experiments based upon the ideals of democracy and the principles of progressive education asserted by John Dewey. In 1963, Goddard College became the first U.S. college to offer adult-degree programs, and now specializes in MA, MFA, BA and BFA low-residency education. Offering accredited degree programs from campuses in Plainfield, Vermont and Port Townsend, Washington, Goddard’s low-residency format offers the best of on-campus and distance education, with experienced faculty advisors, rigorous on-campus residencies, and the freedom to study from anywhere.Plainfield, Vt. (June 23, 2011) ‘last_img read more

South American Defense Conference Begins in Santiago, Chile

first_imgBy Dialogo August 12, 2014 A joint approach with society, plans to unify the initiatives against the growing challenges that threaten the region – transnational threats, according to Benedict Anderson’s expression of nation as an ‘imagined community’: – People coming from different places who start feeling identified with a territory and/or nation, and seeking the construction of people’s homogeneity, providing basis for a belonging feeling (to that place, to that problem). When there is the understanding that the matter concerns everybody’s interests, it works as a “joint capacity forming a whole.” A forum of great value! Paraguay was also there to weigh in, especially since it is the venue for next year’s event. This week, senior military and civilian leaders from nine nations participate in executive-level, face-to-face discussions during the Fourth South American Defense Conference (SOUTHDEC) in Santiago, Chile, from August 12-14. United States Southern Command Commander, U. S. Marine Corps General John F. Kelly and Chilean Chief of the Armed Forces Joint Staff, Vice Admiral José Romero co-host the fourth annual SOUTHDEC conference with meetings, discussions and briefs focused on this year’s theme – “Civil-Military Cooperation in Support of Regional Security.” “Through this forum, we will have the opportunity to independently discuss issues of mutual interest amongst the various Chiefs of Defense present and also will allow us to consolidate a much-needed military link between the countries of South America.” said, Vice Admiral José Romero during his opening remarks. “One of the objectives of the conference is to also promote dialogue aiming to establish solid, enduring paths against all criminal groups, especially those involved in narcotrafficking and all related illegal activities in our region. We must share our experiences,” he added. Participants arrived August 11 to begin discussions regarding lessons learned, new threats and opportunities to collaborate on evolving and complex challenges. General Kelly helped direct the flow of the conference during his opening remarks in the morning of August 12. “The threats we face are transnational – narco-trafficking, human trafficking, illicit trade, weapons smuggling, money-laundering, natural and man-made disasters, and environmental phenomena. These are not challenges we can take on alone; nor are they the primary responsibility of the military. They require a whole-of-government or, as I prefer to say, whole-of-society approach,” General Kelly said as he addressed the audience. “The theme of this year’s conference directly gets at this point, specifically, the need for collaborative solutions to address these challenges.” In the next couple of days, participants will have the chance to learn about some concrete, real-world examples of what General Kelly and Vice Admiral Romero talked about during their opening remarks. Chile will share its experience providing military support to civilian authorities during the Valparaiso Fires; Colombia will chair a panel on the role of the military protecting natural resources; Argentina will chair a roundtable discussion on military support for international peacekeeping operations (PKOs); and U. S. Southern Command environmental and energy expert Myrna López Ortiz will talk about the impact of environmental and energy security on the work of the armed forces. Representatives from U.S. Northern Command and from international prominent organizations related to security, such as the Inter-American Defense Board also take part in this year’s SOUTHDEC. Throughout the three day conference, security leaders from Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Uruguay, and the United States will convene to discuss in detail how the region’s military can improve their joint capabilities as a whole. Participants will also discuss new opportunities to collaborate in joint efforts and lessons learned, amongst other complex challenges currently facing the region. Days two and three of the conference will include bilateral meetings between conference participants focused on mutually agreed topics and areas of interest. SOUTHDEC is one of three regional security conferences sponsored by U. S. SOUTHCOM each year to provide forums for dialogue and exchanges among defense and security leaders from the Caribbean, Central America and South America. The last SOUTHDEC conference took place in Bogotá, Colombia, en 2012. last_img read more

NY Women in Politics Talk Gains, Struggles in Breaking Glass Ceiling

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York [dropcap]W[/dropcap]hen the Working Families Party first approached Zephyr Teachout about throwing her hat in the ring to challenge New York’s formidable Gov. Andrew Cuomo in the Democratic primary last year, her immediate reaction was, “How dare I?”This emotional response is the typical reaction many women have to overcome as they summon the courage necessary to fight their way into the boys’ club that is New York government—where women make up only 11 percent of the State Senate and just 20 percent of the Assembly, and where no woman has ever held the position of governor, attorney general or comptroller. Locally, the Nassau County Legislature boasts nine women among its 19 members and is led by Presiding Officer Norma Gonsalves (R-East Meadow), but just five of 18 members of the Suffolk County Legislature are women.This lack of parity in politics is astounding, considering that New York women have long demonstrated they can succeed at the top level of leadership in corporations, law, real estate and beyond. The challenges—both internal and external—that keep women from running for office does a disservice to the their natural constituency, as issues that range from choice to childcare to education fall by the wayside. Women’s voices are sorely needed in the highest echelons of New York politics. But first, they must “dare” to run.To find out more about this discrepancy, the Press spoke with a handful of prominent women in New York politics. Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-Garden City), state Assemb. Michele Schimel (D-Great Neck), former gubernatorial primary challenger Zephyr Teachout, former Democratic Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy, outgoing Republican Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray, and Nassau County District Attorney-elect Madeleine Singas, a Democrat, discuss their experiences, from coping with the emotional toll campaigning might have on their families to overcoming feelings of inadequacy to contending with the challenges of unequal fundraising.When Hempstead Town Councilwoman Lee Seaman (D-Great Neck Estates) first asked Schimel to run for the Assembly, she remembers she became physically ill.“I felt the heat on my face,” Schimel told the Press. “She said, ‘People know you. You’re an activist.’ I had young children. I went home. I actually threw up.”Schimel got over it. She’s served in public office for 22 years.“I had to be asked to run,” she said. “If I wasn’t, I wouldn’t be here today.”Her reluctance isn’t unique. On average, women need to be asked 14 times to run for elected office, according to a story that ran last year on NPR, because it takes that long to break through their objections before they will seriously consider running, whether it be for the school board or a seat in Congress.McCarthy wants more women to take the initiative—on many fronts.“They shouldn’t be waiting to ask for a pay raise if they know that they deserve it,” said the former Congresswoman. “They shouldn’t wait to advance themselves in whatever area they’re in. You’re not going to be asked. It’s still a man’s world. When I went to Congress, it was the first time in my life that I got equal pay because we all get the same paycheck. That doesn’t happen in the real world here.”Teachout, a law professor at Fordham University in the Bronx, says too many women rule themselves out for the wrong reasons.“I met a woman in Auburn (in upstate Cayuga County) the other day, covered in tattoos,” Teachout said. “‘People like me don’t run for public office,’ she said. ‘I’ve been divorced three times.’ We’re sort of stuck in a 1950s model of a politician, when we aren’t living in a 1950s world.”Teachout held center stage this June at a public discussion held in Hauppauge called “Why Educators Should Run,” sponsored by the New York State United Teachers union and the Working Families Party. The room was packed with teachers eager to hear how they could channel their activism, born out of a protest against the governor’s punitive Common Core evaluation system, into a change in public policy.“This is not a state in which women are not accomplished in every other area,” Teachout said, “so there’s something clearly systemically wrong in the way we’re selecting and supporting our candidates.”While on the campaign trail last year in Southampton, Teachout said that more women should be in New York politics, particularly so they could influence education policy.“Luckily we have women who are representing us federally, but not in Albany,” she told the Press, “and it’s affecting priorities.”“You know it’s a broken system when there are no women,” she added, “because it’s not that people don’t support female leaders, it’s that it’s a closed club.”Recently she was asked what ultimately gave her the courage to run against Cuomo in the Democratic primary.“I’ve wondered that myself!” she responded in a text message. “Even went and looked back over emails. But the key was, so much good could come out of it, and it was too good an opportunity to pass up.”She wanted to make it clear to women that running against someone is not being disrespectful.“It’s a sign of respect for the other people in your district or region that you think that they are adult enough to make these difficult decisions,” she explained. “Not that you are disrespecting this other person.”Former Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice. Rice was elected to Congress last year. (Photo: Nassau DA’s office)Rice believes women’s voices are crucial at all levels of government.“Women tend to be more pragmatic and collaborative,” she told the Press. “We absolutely bring a unique perspective to the table. And it’s not just about ‘women’s issues,’ but issues that affect all of us, from homeland security and veteran affairs to emergency preparedness.”“When I first announced that I was going to run for District Attorney, people thought I was crazy,” Rice added. “People said, ‘But no woman has ever held that position [in Nassau County] before. You’ll lose.’”Not only did Rice beat her opponent, 31-year incumbent DA Denis Dillon, she’s now in Congress, replacing Carolyn McCarthy in the seat she held for 18 years as the first female member of the House of Representatives elected from Long Island.“Just say, ‘Yes,’” Rice offered. “Say ‘yes’ to everything. Men do. Don’t let anyone else decide your potential.”McCarthy, retired last year after first being elected in 1997, told the Press that she’d had doubts about her own capabilities when she was first approached to run by then-Gov. Mario Cuomo.“I was speaking to a group of young women who were thinking about running, and I think they all came to the same conclusion: ‘Who am I that I think I can run for public office?’ I certainly had those thoughts myself,” McCarthy admitted. “I didn’t know anything about politics. I certainly didn’t know about fundraising and all the things you have to do to win an election. It’s difficult, and it depends how passionate you are about trying to make change.”McCarthy’s passion was fueled by her desire to make meaningful change in New York’s gun laws after the tragic 1993 LIRR massacre in which Colin Ferguson killed her husband, Dennis, and severely wounded her son, Kevin, as they were taking the train home together from Manhattan. She credits Kevin with persuading her to enter politics.“If my son hadn’t said to me, ‘Mom, you should run,’” McCarthy told the Press, then she probably wouldn’t have.“He said, ‘You’re already doing all the things it takes to be someone that wants to change legislation to try to save people’s lives,’” she continued. “So it was really [Kevin] that pushed me. It’s a difficult decision. Particularly because I was taking care of Kevin, and at that point of his recovery, he really couldn’t do a lot of things on his own, but he made a promise to me that if I run, that he will learn to do all the things he needs to do so that I could go out and campaign. So I had his support very strongly.”Family support is one of the biggest considerations that female candidates face. Often tasked with the primary responsibilities of taking care of children, women have to reconcile what affect their candidacy and elected office responsibilities would have on their family’s lives.“Women tend to be a lot more self-reflective and probably more self-doubting,” said Singas, who had replaced Rice as acting Nassau County District Attorney and won the job herself in Tuesday’s election.“For me, the decision to run was really about that I’d been doing this job for my entire professional career, and I never doubted my qualifications to do the job,” Singas said. “It was just about what effect it would ultimately have on my family and on my children. Did I want to put myself out there and my family out there for the kind of scrutiny and the unfairness that comes with campaigning? That was my only hesitation.”Singas hinted at the impact campaigning has on family time during her victory speech Tuesday.“They can finally have their mom back,” she said of her two children.Acting Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas won the Nassau DA Race by a wide margin Tuesday. (Rashed Mian/Long Island Press)Few of the women who spoke to the Press said that a career in government was their primary goal. What thrust them into the political arena was their personal experience as an activist on an array of issues.Both McCarthy and Schimel came into office via their passion to make lasting change in the state’s gun laws.“I was involved with Governor Cuomo in passing the assault weapons ban,” said Schimel. “I used to go to Albany every two years. They all knew me because I would yell at them.”But after a long time spent in the legislative process, Schimel says that other concerns arise for idealistic women like her.“You come in with a bunch of ideals, and by the end of the decade you have to look at all of the influences and make sure you are still true to your belief system,” Schimel said. “It’s difficult. I represent over 130,000 constituents who have so many different views. How do you represent them all and still stay true to the ideals that you came into the office with?”The Press spoke with McCarthy the day after a self-identified white supremacist gunman had opened fire in a South Carolina church, killing nine people on June 18. McCarthy was shaken by yet another American mass shooting, but her resolve to inspire lasting change has not wavered.“When I heard that there was a girl younger than nine or 10, who played dead, my heart just stopped,” McCarthy said. “That will never go away for all of these families that go through these kinds of tragedies. It’s heartbreaking, and I think that we do need more women that will be fighting for this because this is a family issue. It shouldn’t be a Democratic or a Republican issue. It should definitely just be an issue of protecting our people.”Thinking of others led Murray, the Hempstead Town Supervisor, to enter politics.“I always think of the vulnerable and people who need to be protected,” Murray told the Press at the Broadway Diner in Hicksville.“Actually, the three offices that I’ve held–I was the first women in each of those,” Murray said. “So, I like to think three fewer glass ceilings to shatter, I’m proud of that.”Before becoming town supervisor, she was town clerk and a state Assemblywoman.Former Democratic congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy seen in the film “The Long Island Railroad Massacre: 20 Years Later.”The transition from advocating for issues to launching a campaign for public office is rife with difficult choices for anyone, but for women, certain campaign responsibilities, particularly fundraising, appear to be more difficult. The playing field is not level.Women’s PACs, such as Emily’s List and Women’s Campaign Fund, have tried to help equalize women’s political fundraising capabilities, but women candidates remain at a disadvantage because funds tend to flow more readily toward the incumbents. Since men hold a vast majority of political offices, their war chests are exponentially more substantial.“It took me a lot of years to figure out when I was trying to raise money that the men—same issues, same ranking as I had—it was easier for them to get money,” McCarthy revealed. “I finally said to one group, ‘What’s the issue here? Because I’m a woman, I don’t deserve to raise the same amount of money as a man?’ And you know what? That changed. I was getting equal support. You have to ask for it.”Schimel observes that women often seem more comfortable giving money than asking for it, making fundraising particularly difficult.“It’s very frightening to ask for money to campaign,” she said. “It’s the hardest part. I daresay it’s harder for women.”But that’s the price women have to pay if they want to make a difference in public life, and women overcome tougher challenges than that every day, says McCarthy.“Give yourself more credit,” she said. “You’ve got more strength in you than you realize. And you can do the job. Because if you look at your daily life, you’re making executive decisions constantly.”In her best-selling business book Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, Sheryl Sandberg, the chief operating officer of Facebook, coined the term “Impostor Syndrome,” a condition she says can limit a woman’s ambition and her sense of what she could accomplish.“Many people, but especially women, feel fraudulent when they are praised for their accomplishments,” Sandberg writes. “Instead of feeling worthy of recognition, they feel undeserving and guilty, as if a mistake has been made. Despite being high achievers, even experts in their fields, women can’t seem to shake the sense that it is only a matter of time until they are found out for who they really are: impostors with limited skills or abilities.”For these Long Island women in public life, they’ve faced themselves in private and found they had the ability all along.last_img read more

El Gobernador Wolf recuerda a los residentes de Pennsylvania: “Las máscaras son obligatorias”

first_img July 03, 2020 SHARE Email Facebook Twitter El Gobernador Wolf recuerda a los residentes de Pennsylvania: “Las máscaras son obligatorias”center_img Español,  Press Release,  Public Health “Las máscaras son obligatorias al salir de casa”, recordó hoy el Gobernador Tom Wolf a los residentes de Pennsylvania.“Especialmente cuando comienza el fin de semana largo del 4 de julio, es vital que todos recuerden que las máscaras son obligatorias y deben usarse al salir de casa”, dijo Wolf. “El virus no se ha ido y el uso de máscaras es un esfuerzo de mitigación obligatorio que sabemos que funciona para detener la propagación”.La Secretaria de Salud, Dra. Rachel Levine firmó una orden que obliga a usar máscaras el miércoles pasado. Permanece vigente.Las preguntas frecuentes sobre la orden sobre el uso de máscaras se pueden encontrar aquí.View this information in English.last_img read more